13 Mar 2012

Constitution chief says Fiji regime should review laws restricting freedom

12:44 pm on 13 March 2012

The newly-appointed chairperson of Fiji's Constitution Commission Professor Yash Ghai says the Fiji regime should review all laws that restrict freedoms to ensure open discussion around the constitution.

The veteran constitution-maker says this should happen before Fiji's constitution-making process begins.

Professor Ghai says Fiji's process appears thought through, responsive to various concerns and provides a good balance of input from ordinary people and experts.

But Professor Ghai says Fiji's laws should be restored to a state compatible with the guarantees of the Bill of Rights under Fiji's 1997 constitution.

"As the process begins it could be very important to have mechanisms for expression of different views and attempt to develop some consensus. I think that can only be done if every group feels free to express its views."

Yash Ghai says it is obvious the process will be open and transparent and he assumes the regime will honour its commitments.